The ALTANA Group develops and manufactures high-quality, innovative specialty chemical products. With us, you can help shape many important details of the world of the future. Our four divisions BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS, and ACTEGA have set worldwide standards in their markets. Our innovative products enable companies to develop technologies of the future today, technologies that make life easier, safer, and more comfortable. With sales of more than 2.2 billion euros, we are one of the world‘s most innovative, fastest-growing, and most profitable chemical companies. We currently employ about 6,500 people who have good ideas for the world of the future. Discover your decisive plus for your future. Bringing you many advantages.

BYK Additives & Instruments is one of the world’s leading suppliers in the field of additives and measuring instruments. Around the world, the additives of BYK ensure that coatings and plastics obtain precisely the desired properties and the correct quality.

R&D Group Leader

Your task structure


The R&D Group Leader will develop a vision, lead, and implement a cohesive group research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects related to surface and defoamer additives. These efforts include all aspects needed for successful completion of technical projects including providing technical expertise for scientific advancement, leading and managing bench chemists/lab technicians, stakeholder engagement and project management.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Initiate, lead and perform independent R&D projects from inception to completion for new product development related to surface and defoamer additives.
  • Provide technical leadership and manage new product development projects, new process/process improvement projects and technical service projects. This includes the design and execution of experimental laboratory work.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Lead and direct the work of bench chemists and technicians to execute project tasks and experimental plans
  • Engagement with stakeholders from various departments and international locations to achieve project goals and drive projects to completion within projected timeline and resource budget
  • Advance the reputation of the technology group through establishing collaborations, professional societies, and organization of technical events
  • Provide technical expertise and advice to Operations, Commercial, Regulatory, Purchasing, and other cross functional teams
  • Provide continued training, coaching, mentoring, orientation, and development to lab staff
  • Develop targets and goals with staff for their continued improvement
  • Train chemists on setting up and conducting chemical experiments, physical tests and analyses
  • Interface with customers regarding R&D projects and all technical inquiries received.
  • Support and coordinate new and additional source raw material approvals
  • Manage the interface with other departments at all ALTANA/BYK sites on processes, problem solving, and new products/projects
  • Possible travel to Germany to receive technical training
  • Work safely in a laboratory environment, actively participating in and complying with laboratory & company safety programs

Your recipe for success


  • PhD in Physical Science (Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or MS with significant experience preferred)
  • 5-10 years of industrial R&D experience
  • Exceptional problem-solving abilities
  • Exceptional communication skills


  • The R&D Group Leader is a recognized leader in the area of surface additives
  • Extensive fundamental understanding of surface and defoamer additives and their use in industry applications
  • Expertise in multiple Product groups: Surfactants, silicones, polyacrylates, polyethers, and defoamer formulations.
  • Proficient in project management and demonstrated success in driving projects to completion
  • High level of knowledge in multiple areas related to chemical procedures, product technologies, analytical methods, manufacturing processes, chemical and physical principles or laboratory procedures of importance to BYK products or processes
  • High level knowledge of physical and health hazards associated with raw materials, additives, paints & coatings chemistries
  • Demonstrated capability to use computer programs for recording and analyzing data, generating reports and preparing presentations (e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc., and including SAP or other ERP software, Minitab, SpotFire, SciFinder, PatSnap or other specialized software)


  • Must be eager to bring development/research projects to from inception to completion.
  • Must be team oriented and be able to interface positively and supportively with other members of the laboratory staff
  • Flexibility and Multitasking – Must be able to manage multiple projects at one time, while setting priorities
  • Must be willing to work additional hours, as necessary, to meet deadlines
  • Must support BYK management decisions and company policies
  • Must be able to communicate well, verbally and written, throughout all levels of the organization
  • Must be able to manage conflict and find resolutions

Essential Functions:

  • Ability to work with chemicals in a laboratory environment
  • Ability to lift min. 50 pounds
  • Ability to talk on phone, drive a car and travel by ground and by air coping with conditions of domestic and international travel
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Your spectrum of advantages

In the ALTANA Group, you will work in a unique culture of innovation where the utmost importance is attached to promoting individual ideas and abilities as well as open, trusting interaction. 

We invite you to get to know us better and to become part of our team. Discover your career plus in specialty chemistry. Please send us your application, preferably via our jobmarket

ALTANA AG and its subsidiaries is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Job number: US00447

Legal entity: BYK USA Inc.

Location: Wallingford, CT

Area of operations: Forschung & Entwicklung allgemein